Jonathan Knight has been living the life of a rock star and a design star.
The New Kids on the Block singer spent most of the summer touring the country with his bandmates. and filming episodes for the second season of HGTV’s farm repairman – the series that follows Knight and his interior design partner Kristina Crestin as they restore historic homes in New England.
“I would say this year was definitely a challenge because I basically had to be in both places at the same time,” Knight, 53, told People. “Of all the times the New Kids got together, this was the most vigorous touring schedule for us. There were days when I would walk off stage at 11pm, hop on a plane right after the show, fly all night, shoot all day and then get back on a plane and do the next show.”
The New Kids’ 2022 Mixtape Tour, which included Salt-N-Pepa, En Vogue and Rick Astley, traveled to over 50 different cities across the US
“I think [during] the whole tour, maybe I had three days off,” says the singer, who rose to fame in the late ’80s with his NKOTB bandmates: younger brother Jordan, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood. I got home after the tour ended, I went into my room, closed the door and said, ‘Nobody bothers me until I leave.’ I think I slept 48 hours straight.”
Despite the “insane schedule,” Knight says he’s grateful for the experience that allowed him to indulge in his two passions: music and home improvement. “At the time, I was like, ‘Oh my God, this sucks.’ But I look back now and I’m proud that I achieved it. I definitely tried hard, but it was the best moment. I’m lucky to be able to balance the two now.”
It helped, he says, to know that Crestin was able to focus on his home projects while his music life was a priority. “The good thing is Kristina wasn’t on tour because she’s not a huge pop star,” jokes Knight. “I knew things were in great hands at home. She was always a phone call away.”
One project in particular that needed Knight’s full attention, however, was the renovation of the house he worked on for – and with – his own family. It is documented in the new season of farm repairman, which premieres August 25 on HGTV and Discovery+. “We moved a house to our property in Massachusetts and my family was part of the whole process,” he says.
While Knight is no stranger to working with his family members — he and his brother Jordan have been making music and performing together for decades — he admits that getting them involved in his life of restoration and design has required some adjustments.
“It was a little weird at first,” says Knight, who started renovating and renovating homes in 1994, talking about kitchen sinks and stuff. But it was really cool to have him and his family on the show.”
Crestin, who has worked to bring everyone’s different visions and design requests to life, says viewers will enjoy seeing the Knight family’s interactions on the show. “Everyone will have to wait until the end of the season to see the reveal, but I think it will be one of the best episodes,” she says. “Watching your family is so fun because they have so many opinions and things they wanted. But it’s going to be amazing to watch.”
Knight says he’s as excited to watch the new season as he hopes fans are. “Kristina and I haven’t seen the entire show yet, so we’re going to experiment a lot with viewers,” he says.
He’s especially interested in seeing homeowners’ reactions again when their restored homes are revealed. “Even though we’ve lived through it, it makes me so emotional to see the owners see their homes for the first time. Kristina jokes that she’s going to catch me crying, but the reveal days are really emotionally draining for the owners and for both of us.”
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While the renovations to their homes take several months and “a lot of hard work” to complete, the duo say it’s all worth it when homeowners finally see the finished and fully staged homes.
“On the morning of the reveal, Kristina and I always went in early to do some cleaning and touch-ups. ,” he says. “And that moment when they actually walk through the door, it’s so exciting and so relieving at the same time. You can finally breathe and say ‘we did it’.”
Says Crestin: “When Jon says we’re cleaning at the last minute, well, that’s Jon and his nervous energy. He’s vacuuming and cleaning everything – and it’s adorable because he just wants it to look perfect for them.”
the second season of farm repairman premieres Wednesday, August 24 at 9 pm ET/PT on HGTV and Discovery+.